Who will the Panthers draft at No. 1? Here’s the latest on Carolina’s plans
The Carolina Panthers now have the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL draft, and they will surely be targeting a quarterback prospect. The Panthers moved up from No. 9 overall in a trade with the Chicago Bears, who originally had the top pick after a 3-14 season.
Four quarterbacks have the chance to be the No. 1 selection as we move closer to the draft. Alabama’s Bryce Young and Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud are among the favorites, but there is also a chance that the Panthers fall in love with the potential of either Kentucky’s Will Levis or Florida’s Anthony Richardson. The Panthers have been searching for an answer under center for a while now, finishing 31st (27.6) and 30th (35.7) in Total QBR in the past two seasons, respectively. Four different quarterbacks have started at least five games for them over that time. This move gives Carolina the chance to find its franchise signal-caller.
As we move toward draft month, we’re tracking all the latest news, buzz and rumors around who will go No. 1 overall, with insight from our NFL reporters, insiders, draft experts and sports betting analysts. Most recent updates are on top, and all betting updates are via Caesars Sportsbook.
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Thursday, March 16
David Bearman, sports betting analyst: Stroud continues to move ahead as the betting favorite to be the No. 1 overall pick, now at -275. Young is second at +300, and Richardson is right behind him at +325. Levis is a distant fourth at +3000.
Tuesday, March 14
Adam Schefter, NFL insider: The Panthers and free agent quarterback Andy Dalton are expected to reach an agreement on a two-year, $10 million deal that includes $8 million fully guaranteed, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The maximum value of the contract is $17 million, the source said. Dalton will give Carolina the veteran it has been seeking to help bring along the quarterback it selects with the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming NFL draft. The Panthers are focused on Ohio State’s Stroud and Alabama’s Young with the first pick, according to sources, although they will continue to evaluate Florida’s Richardson and Kentucky’s Levis.
Friday, March 10
Bearman: Before the trade for the No. 1 pick, Alabama’s Young was the odds-on favorite (-150) to be the first pick taken in April’s draft. Ohio State’s Stroud was the second favorite at +240. After Carolina traded up for the top pick, those two prospects flipped, with Stroud becoming the favorite (now -225) and Young second (+175). Florida’s Richardson went from +450 to +300.
David Newton, Panthers reporter: While Carolina hasn’t settled on one of the top quarterbacks at this point, according to a source with direct knowledge of trade talks, it would be a hard sell to go with Florida’s Richardson, who is considered more of a project. The early favorites to go No. 1 are Young and Stroud, who both seemed to impress the Carolina staff most at the NFL combine — particularly Young.
Schefter: The Panthers traded receiver DJ Moore, the No. 9 pick, a late-second-round pick (No. 61), a 2024 first-round selection and a 2025 second-round pick to the Bears in exchange for the No. 1 selection. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that talks for the No. 1 pick had intensified and multiple teams, including the Houston Texans, expressed interest in making a deal with Chicago. The Panthers ultimately pulled off the deal and wanted to get it done before free agency started.
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